|City Archives & Special Collections|
New Orleans Public Library
Rediscovering Oscar James Dunn with Dr. Brian K. Mitchell | July 29th, 2021|
A Zoom webinar with Dr. Brian K. Mitchell, Ph.D. of University of Arkansas, Little Rock
City Archives & Special Collections
New Orleans Public Library
219 Loyola Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70112
Right: Carte-de-visite, Lt. Governor Oscar James Dunn, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Join Dr. Brian K. Mitchell, New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries, and the City Archives for a presentation on the life and death of Oscar James Dunn, a revolutionary political leader in Reconstruction-Era New Orleans and the first Black Lieutenant Governor in American history. Dr. Mitchell will discuss his work to return Oscar James Dunn to public awareness, as well as Dunn's accomplishments and legacy. This program will be hosted by the City Archives & Special Collections and New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries, where Dunn's tomb and final resting place is located.
Dr. Brian K. Mitchell is currently an Associate Professor of History at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and an Associate Faculty Member at the Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity. The author of numerous papers, book chapters and books, including "Monumental: Oscar Dunn and His Radical Fight in Reconstruction Louisiana" (click the link to request it through the library!), Mitchell’s research primarily deals with Race and Violence and the Elaine Massacre. Nationally recognized for his public history and digital humanities projects, his research has been covered by CNN, Atlas Obscura, the New York Post, the Guardian, National Public Radio, and the Associated Press.
A graduate of the University of New Orleans, he received an MA in History and MS in Urban Studies. He also completed his terminal degree, a PhD in Urban Studies with a concentration in Public History at the University. Prior to assuming his current position at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, Mitchell was a decorated Senior Federal Investigator at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and winner of the Federal Investigator of the Year Award. Visit his professional page at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock here.
New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries manages 13 Catholic cemeteries in the city. Dating back to 1789, they are some of the most famous in New Orleans. This includes St. Louis Number 2, which holds Oscar James Dunn's tomb. Per their website, "The tomb housing the earthly remains of Oscar James Dunn (1826-1871) is located on the center aisle of Square 3 in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, which is considered "the largest collection of outdoor monuments to African Americans in the United States." The tomb, originally belonging to the family of Dunn's close friend Afro-Creole funeral director G. Casanave, was restored in 2000 by Friends of New Orleans Cemeteries. In order to ensure that the tomb is preserved in perpetuity, New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries is now accepting donations towards its Perpetual Care".